Religions of the World and Ecology home

William LaFleur 

Abstract of paper given at Buddhism and Ecology conference:
Ending Fecundism: Buddhism and a Critique of the Fertility-Piety Nexus

Most of the world's religions have historically responded to natural anxieties about tribal extinction by holding out promises of fecundity coming as a reward for piety. "Be fruitful and multiply" injunctions have been common in religion. Buddhism has historically been somewhat more skittish about linking good religious practice with quantitative reproduction. I maintain that there is both an ethical and religious insight in this; one which we now, on an overpopulated globe, can profitably use to bring various forms of what I call "fecundism" under critical review.